Friday, September 13, 2013

Making Hay In The South Field

I hadn't been home on the Saturday when they cut my hay (see yesterday's post), but I was home on Sunday when the brothers returned to rake it. First, they checked to see how the hay was drying and said they were pleased:

Then they began pulling the hay rake down the windrows, turning it over to dry more thoroughly:

They had a fascinating, New Holland hay rake and I was very impressed:

Both brothers rode in the cabin for awhile, though one eventually drove home to tend to their dairy cows:

It's important for the hay to be dry before it's baled. Even though the big round bales will be stored outside, the hay inside them will stay pretty much as it was when baled. At least it will if the bales are tight enough:

And while they were raking the hay, I walked along the fence line hanging warning signs for anyone who might be tempted to try to touch the wires. And yes, I turned off the electricity first:

The raking took all afternoon. The next day, Monday, they returned with their baler. One brother kept raking in the far field while the other brother baled in the bigger, closer field:

I'd never seen a baler work before and thought you'd like to see it also. The tractor pulled the baler down the windrows, collecting hay and spinning it around inside the baler. At some point, the driver knew the baler was full and stopped while it whirred and banged and wrapped the bale in twine:

Then the back end of the baler opened up and a big round bale rolled out, kind of like a big, mechanical hen laying a giant egg:

The bale rolled out the back of the baler, the casing lowered back to operating position and the tractor began pulling it down more windrows:

It was a long process, but the day was beautiful and the cut hay smelled delicious:

When they were done, there were 44 giant bales. They will take half and I will take half. And they hadn't even begun cutting the north field yet:

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